For the K-pop idol girl group EXID, 2015 has been a very fortunate year for them. Riding the wave of success that began back in 2014, EXID pushed forward with a special music video of their hit song “Up & Down” (their 2014 breakout hit initiating their success) for LG U+. They then followed up with two more featured singles. The first was “Ah Yeah” (embedded below), their title track off their latest EP. It peaked at No. 2 on Korean charts and No. 6 on U.S. charts. The second was “Hot Pink.” Despite being recently released, it has already topped at No. 4 on Korean charts.
With EXID’s sudden increase in popularity, it is only natural its members would be in demand to appear on Korean television. Ahn Hee Yeon (better known by her stage name, Hani) has since been the one group member to step up to such a call, making 20 appearances on numerous Korean variety shows including Dating Alone, 1 vs. 100, Off to School, Crime Scene, and King of Mask Singer. Hani’s most recent appearance, however, was on Running Man, in the episode “The Rival Big Match.” Apparently, Hani had so much fun that she wants to come back. However, she wants to bring the rest of EXID with her.
Hani made her intentions known in a post she uploaded to her official Twitter account, which seems to have been taken down. While it was up, it consisted of a selfie and a statement that if she were to revisit Running Man, she would like to bring along Solji, LE, Hyerin, and Junghwa, the other members of EXID.
For those who did not watch the latest episode of Running Man, the episode “The Rival Big Match” pitted the “Older Brothers” against the “Younger Brothers,” as reported by KdramaStars. Guests on the show besides Hani include Leeteuk and Heechul of K-pop idol boy group Super Junior, and professional gamers Im Yo Hwan and Hong Jin Ho. The episode was divided up into three parts. The first were initial competitions between rivals to determine teams. Winners were in the “Older Brothers” team, while losers were in the “Younger Brothers” team. After teams were made, it was time for the competition. The first part was a larger-than-life game of Yut (traditional Korean board game). The second was a sports-like tournament in which teams bet points. The team with the most points by the end of the tournament wins the game.
Hani’s rival was Running Man cast member Song Ji Hyo for their ability to easily fall asleep in any situation. In their initial competition to decide teams, Hani lost when she failed to throw a straw into a cup, thus putting her on the “Younger Brothers” team. However, she, along with the rest of the team, eventually won the game.
It should be noted this episode of Running Man was praised by seasoned fans of the variety show. They claim it went back to the roots that made it popular in the first place. It is, however, possible the reason why the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), the studios behind Running Man, is changing up their format is to increase viewership. This year, Running Man hit record lows in viewership, with their lowest being 4.4 percent on TnMS and 5.4 percent on AGB. Given the fact Running Man initially earned double-digit ratings up to 20 percent or more, this is surely debilitating for SBS.
[Image via Screen Capture of EXID’s Music Video for “Ah Yeah”]